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May 122 minute read

Axes have been a camping staple forever. What’s surprising though is that quality ones like this Hultafors Axe are increasingly difficult to come by.

We’ll come to quality shortly, but first, we need to pick a size. Here’s where too much choice can make life difficult. It’s easy enough to acquire a quiver of axes – the perfect tool for every job – however transporting your collection may not be quite so practical.

Trying to settle on one axe is certainly tricky, but we’ve found there is a bit of a sweet spot around the 650mm mark. It’s small enough to split kindling, yet just big enough to do heavy work. It’s also easy to stow in a 4×4 drawer or canopy.

Hultafors Axe

Hultafors forge a full range of axes in Sweden, and they’ve been doing so since 1697! They do felling axes in multiple lengths, this one – you guessed it – is the 650mm. 

The Hultafors Axe range is hand forged using Swedish steel, and during the process, they repeatedly strike the head to increase the density of the steel and improve the durability of the head.

Hultafors Axe

The handle is beautifully shaped from hickory, a timber that is both strong and naturally absorbs the shock from striking blows.

Hultafors Axe

A sharp axe head isn’t much good if it doesn’t stay fixed to the handle. You might think this is a simple process, perhaps it is, yet it’s one process that many entry level makers seem yet to master.

Hultafors Axe

These axes are imported into Australia as a raw finish. Kaito from DRIFTA then finished them with a custom jig for precision blade sharpening. Next, he finishes the hickory with stunning Western Australian Gilly Stephenson’s Orange Oil.

Hultafors Axe

Kaito also makes incredibly solid sheaths from 3mm Australian cowhide, which he finishes in Gilly Stephenson’s Leather Care.

The sheath is a key part of keeping your axe head both sharp and dry – we’ll talk more about axe care another time.

Hultafors Axe
Hultafors Axe
Hultafors Axe
Mike Collister

Mike Collister

Mike has spent his life outdoors - he has represented Australia as a slalom kayaker, guided whitewater expeditions in Nepal, and taught outdoor education and wilderness medicine. He’s paddled the Kimberley’s Fitzroy River in the wet season and across the Bass Strait, and is an avid photographer, overlander and camper.
Mike Collister

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